FORLOH Gear Review

by John Bowers

I first heard about the FORLOH line of technical hunting clothing at the Total Archery Challenge event held in New Braunfels, Texas, in spring of 2022.  My buddy Ted Karr had stopped at their booth, and was examining several of their items, and had mentioned the possibility of a future review on the Eagle Cap Outdoors website.

Fast Forward to the summer of 2022, during which time lighting had struck, as I had drawn a very highly coveted archery bull elk tag in Nevada.  I had begun planning and preparing for the upcoming hunt.  This hunt is basically a “once in a lifetime” hunt, because the odds are so horribly low, and the way the bonus point system works in Nevada, there is no guarantee that a person will draw, regardless of the number of bonus points he has!  After tons of research, I determined that this unit produces a substantial number of trophy bulls every year, a few even over the 400” mark!  I made up my mind that I would hold out for a 370” or bigger bull.  This hunt was to begin August 25th, and end September 16th, and I was prepared to hunt the entire season, if needed.

Ted mentioned that he had made a few phone calls about the possibility of field testing some of the FORLOH gear during my hunt, which I welcomed since I thought their Exposed pattern would be perfect for the terrain in the unit group.

A few week latter we got the confirmation, and I picked out the items that I thought would be best suited on this hunt.  The expected temps were highs in the 90s, and lows in the 50’s for the first half of the hunt, with a slight cool-down toward the end of the season, so I focused on hot-weather clothing.
(The gear that I selected, and the reasoning behind the sections)



Hot weather/sun protection

Hot weather/sun protection

Cool mornings/nights

Cool mornings/nights

Hot weather/sun protection

Sun protection

Gravity protection!

Cool rides in Polaris         

Unexpected thunderstorms

best warm weather camo
Once the hunt started, the weather was as predicted, HOT!  Highs were in the mid-90s for the first two weeks.  We even had four days above 100 degrees.  It finally cooled down to highs in the upper 60’s for the last week.  The elk were basically only moving at first light, and right before dark, and the full moon that occurred towards the latter part of the hunt did not help either.

I wore the FORLOH Solair Insect Shield hot weather Pants, and the Solair Long Sleeved Hooded shirt, almost every day.  We had a 100-gal water tank on my UTV trailer, and plenty of time mid-day, so I was able to wash/rinse whenever I needed to.  I did have a couple of other hot weather sets of well-known technical hunting clothing along, which I did alternate between during the 3-week hunt, but in the long run, the FORLOH was my favorite in these very hot, dry, extremely dusty conditions.  It was my favorite because it was the lightest, dried the fastest, repelled odor the best, and held up better than expected.  The Exposed patten blended in very well with the high desert terrain, with mixed juniper and sagebrush.  See the following pictures to see how well the Exposed pattern blended with the Nevada terrain at different times of the day in different light.

At first, due to the extremely lightweight construction of the pants, I was afraid that they would not hold up to the cactus, rocks, and brush that we encountered, but I never got a rip in them.  About the only improvement that I can think of would be to implement some kind of kneepad or reinforced knee, since kneeling down in the SOLAIR Insect Shield patents can get uncomfortable if there are small rocks in the soil.

As far as the Solair Long Sleeve hooded shirt, the only improvement would be to change the interior color of the hood, from a white to a camo or earth tone, so that it doesn’t stand out.

Both of these items have the following technology:

  • Insect-shield to repel ticks and fleas
  • Brr-Pro cooling and wicking fibers
  • UPF 50+ UV sun protection
  • Polygene Stay Fresh odor control anti-microbial
  • Articulated knees and Gusseted crotch in the pants
  • 4-way Stretch fabric in the Shirt

The next piece of clothing that I utilized was the Solair Technical Hoodie.  This is a 4-way stretch, lightweight, mid layer.  I would call it more of a heavy zippered hoodie shirt, than a lightweight jacket.  The website recommended sizing down for a more athletic fit, which I overlooked, so I ordered a large.  In retrospect, if I had ordered a medium, it would have been perfect.  I utilized this piece almost every morning, when we would leave the vehicle an hour before first light, and the temps were still chilly.  Once it warmed up, it would ride in my backpack for at least the rest of the morning.  It weighs in at 16.8 ounces, so it didn’t weight my pack down too much.

It is constructed of 90% Polyester, and 10% Spandex, so it has good stretch and moves with you very well.  It is Abrasion Resistant and strong fabric, and I never got a rip or tear in it.  It also incorporates the Brr Cold and Polygiene Technologies, so it resists bacteria causing odor and wicks moisture like a champ.  As I mentioned before, I washed my clothes during the midday, very frequently during the hunt, and these pieces dried out very fast.  If I had thought about it, I would have timed how long it took each piece/brand that I had on the hunt, but it never occurred to me (I guess I was suffering from short term, Bull on the Brain…).

Next item on the list was the AllClima Soft-shell Beanie.  I wore the SoftShell Beanie every morning and evening when it was cold.  The AllClima Beanie has a Polartic Powerfleece interior, that made it warmer than the other well-known brands of beanie I used, for about the same weight.  It has a double DWR Airadigm Pulse Plasma coating on every fiber, that gives it Windproof and Water Protection.  It also incorporates Silver Salt to retard Bacteria growth for odor control.  One of the features that I like the most is the fit over the ears.  Unlike most technical beanies on the market, this one actually covers your ears, not just the tips!

Another simple, but very important piece is the Solair Lightweight Neck Gaiter.  It is a simple, lightweight, very stretchy, neck gaiter that is important for providing camouflage to your face during close encounters with bull elk.  It incorporates the Brr-Cold fibers, and the Polygiene Antimicrobial coating, which makes it fast drying and odor resistant.  It also has a UPF 50+ rating to keep that hot sun off of your neck, which I found out is very important in Nevada in late August.

best warm weather camo

Although this was mostly a hot-weather hunt, with most days getting up into the 90’s, since it’s such a dry, low humidity environment, the nights can still get very chilly.  Lots of evenings, after we walked back to our parking spot after dark, we still had a 10 mile+, 30 minute or more, ride back to camp in an open-cab Polaris Ranger.  A big comfort was keeping the Thermo-Neutral Down Puffy Jacket hidden in the Ranger, which kept at least part of me warn during those long, freezing cold rides back to camp!

The Down Puffy Jacket utilizes 650 fill duck down insulation that has been treated with Activ-Dri treatment to make each down fiber water-resistant, and the exterior fabric is 100% military spec quantum 40D Rip-stop nylon coated with a DWR treatment for water resistance.  Another plus to this jacket is its use of Perf-Weld technology, instead of conventional stitching, to create the baffles for the insulation.  This removes the stitching holes in the material which can allow moisture to penetrate directly into the down.  At the same time, micro-perforations in the sonic welds, allow water vapor near the body to escape.  I wore this in light rain storms a few times, and it never seemed to absorb moisture, or lose its insulation.  I did wash it in camp once, and after lots of agitating in the bucket, was finally able to completely soak it.  It took several hours of drying, but then it was good as new once again.

The last piece of gear that I used almost every day was the Technical Belt.  This belt has no moving parts in its buckle, and once you learn how to adjust it, you will forget you are wearing it, It is such a simple design.  It is very strong and comfortable, and could double as a tourniquet, if needed.

FORLOH had also sent me the Allclima Rain Jacket and Pants to review on this hunt.  Since my hunting partner, elk-caller, and camera man, Chris Woodburn, was without raingear on this hunt, I gave it to him to use.  His last set of rain gear had not held up well over the last several years, from close encounters with brush, and fences.  I was beginning to doubt that we would encounter any rainstorms on this 3-week hunt, but finally, on the last week, it seemed like it rained a little every afternoon.  Chris reported that the raingear was comfortable, lightweight, and kept him dry, as advertised.  Chris will be writing a separate review on this raingear in the near future.

I would like to thank FORLOH for allowing us to review these fine products, and for proving to me that Sitka and Kuiu are not the only top of the line technical hunting clothing brands on the market today.

I live in South Texas and am a Consulting Wildlife Biologist for several private ranches in the region.  I will continue to wear these FORLOH pieces and test them in the rugged brush country.  I might do a follow-up review in a few years, and let you know how they have done.  I highly recommend these FORLOH gear pieces that I was able to test.  If you have any questions about the gear I tested, please comment below and someone from Eagle Cap Outdoors will get back to you with a response.  If you are interested in purchasing these gear items visit the FORLOH website.  Also, in the above list you can click on each gear item for a link to that item on the FORLOH website.

John Bowers

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